Point scene layer

To ensure fast visualization in all ArcGIS clients, point scene layers are used to display large amounts of point data. You can symbolize point features in point scene layers with point symbols that are billboarded or contain 3D marker symbol layers. Any feature that can be represented by a point can be used in a point scene layer.

Point scene layers are automatically thinned to improve performance and visibility at greater distances. Automatic thinning means that not all features are displayed at greater distances.

Point scene layer

An example of a point scene layer is shown.


A point scene layer is only supported in the 3D category of a scene.

You can snap to a point feature layer when snapping is enabled.

To control the visualization and display of a point scene layer, select the layer in the Contents pane, and click the Scene Layer tab set. Set the visibility range of the layer by adjusting the Closest distance Closest distance and Farthest distance Farthest distance scales.

Use Transparency Transparency to set a transparency percentage to see through the layer and reveal information below it, or drag Swipe Swipe to visualize a scene and reveal layers beneath. Modify the layer face culling and lighting options to see through the front or back of the points, depending on which side of the point scene layer you are viewing. Access the Symbology pane to modify the symbology of the point scene layers. To learn more about changing the appearance of a scene layer, see Change the appearance of a feature layer.

To access the general and display properties of a point scene layer, right-click the point scene layer in the Contents pane and click Properties. The Layer Properties dialog box appears.


When displaying a scene layer, you can identify attribute information about a particular feature without making a selection or interfering with an existing selection by opening a pop-up. Use the Explore tool Explore Tool to select a feature, or drag a box while pressing the Ctrl key to select multiple features. The Pop-up pane displays a list of identified features, grouped by layer, along with a formatted list of field attributes. When authoring or consuming a 3D object or point scene layer, you can configure the pop-ups.

When using a scene layer without an associated feature layer, the statistical information about the scene layer is static, which has an impact on using expressions. See Use of Arcade expressions for more details.

Definition query

For feature based scene layers, such as point or 3D object scene layers, you can use a definition query. If you are working with a scene layer with an associated feature layer, the query uses the associated feature layer to update and use statistical information in the query. When using a scene layer package (.slpk) or a web scene without an associated feature layer, the statistics in the scene layer are used.


You can create point scene layers with labels. When authoring a point feature layer as a point scene layer, you can set one labeling class and the position of the label. When consuming a scene layer with labels enabled, you can disable them using the Context menu of the scene layer in ArcGIS Pro. The defined labels can be visualized in ArcGIS clients.

Work with geoprocessing tools

A scene layer with an associated feature layer can be used as input to geoprocessing tools that support the same geometry type as the associated feature layer. The analysis operation is run on the associated feature layer and the result is displayed for the scene layer.

A point scene layer without an associated feature layer is not supported as an input to any geoprocessing tools except the Validate Scene Layer Package, Clip, Upgrade Scene Layer, and Project tools.

Share point scene layers

The point scene layer can be published as a web scene layer or created as a scene layer package file (.slpk) using the Create Point Scene Layer Content tool and uploaded to ArcGIS Enterprise or ArcGIS Online using the Share Package geoprocessing tool.